Day 4 Volunteer Blog – Gus Gardener

//Day 4 Volunteer Blog – Gus Gardener

The alarms were set half an hour earlier than normal and a wake up time of 7:30 was agreed with breakfast being served at 8 for a prompt 8:30 leave. Silver bells is a further distance from our accommodation compared to Melon Mission so an early start is needed!

At 8:30 on the dot Joseph and his bus arrived to take us on the 20 minute bus ride to silver bells. A bus full of 17 very excited people plus our in country guide, Joyce, were on our way. To get to silver bells you go down some single file gravel tracks and arrive outside a gated area in which you would not think a school would sit behind. After a few shouts the gate opened up to allow us inside.

What awaited us on the other side of the gate was a massive shock even for those of us who had been to Kenya before. Over 100 children and staff lined the entrance to silver bells and erupted into the Jambo song. This was accompanied by many other traditional songs. During this we were all called into the middle of the corridor the children danced with the teachers and we were given a handmade necklace. It was an incredible experience and showed us all how much this school needs the help from volunteers like us and that they really look forward to us being there.

Once we had our welcome we were all given a tour by the school head teacher, Margaret, each class would sing us a song. But there was a little twist. As each class had sung to us we had to sing to them! As some of us who had been to Kenya before were expecting this we did practice “he’s got the whole world in his hands” on the bus ride to silver bells. The practice had paid off as it was perfectly sung by all with all the actions in time!

Once we had our tour the children were so excited to see us lessons were cancelled so they could spend an hour playing outside with us. This gave us the chance to sit down with the children and have some fun and show them some love with lots of cuddles, high fives and fist bumps!

By 11 o’clock the children’s breakfast was served which consists of a very fine porridge made with water and cooked over an open fire. Each child is given one cup of porridge. They all sit on the nice grass area in silver bells and are waited on by the volunteers. When the children are eating their porridge some children have a little food they have brought with them so they raise their hand and half of the food they have is shared with the children who are sat around them. This truly goes to show that no matter how little you have you can still help others in the smallest of ways.

Once the children had gulped down their porridge it was time to get teaching, preparing food and helping with maintenance. We had maths lessons, social science lessons and story time going on across the 6 classes. We were also tasked with dismantling the oldest classroom in the school which is going to be rebuilt to be a bigger room using the money from the volunteer’s project pledges. Whilst this was going on me, Ellie and Ben offered to give the kitchen staff a break by cutting 10 cabbages as finely as we could in preparation for lunch to be served. It is a task which is a lot harder than we first thought! We then stayed in the open fire kitchen to cook the rice and cabbage in order to plate it up ready for lunch to be served at 1.

Once we served the lunch we played with the children until 3 as they were far too excited to see us and there was no way they could concentrate if we tried teaching a lesson! We had games of football, tag and many more going on in order to keep the children occupied.

3 o’clock quickly approached and we said our goodbyes before we boarded the bus to head to the supermarket to stock up on supplies for the massi mara! This meant that many of us looked like we had been for a weekly shop with the amount of food we brought as there is no such thing as a corner shop in the middle of the massi mara! But we need the food for the long 8 hour journey which awaits us on Friday!

We returned to our guest house where dinner was served at 7. We then all hit the hay nice and early as we had a 6 o’clock start Friday morning to start the long drive to the massi mara for safari!